A new study on deformities in frogs and other amphibians offers more signs that a parasite might be causing the problems. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
A new study on deformities in frogs and other amphibians offers more signs that a parasite may
be causing the problems. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
The study is in the magazine Conservation Biology. University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate
student Pieter Johnson led the study. His team looked a half-century of research on extra legs and
other deformities in amphibians. Johnson says a lot of the deformities have occurred in bodies of
water that contain a parasitic flatworm.
He says the number of those malformation “hot spots” is growing. Johnson says he’s now looking
at whether pollution is making it easier for the parasite to affect the frogs.
“Pesticide contamination has been suggested to inhibit the immune response of amphibians and
that could be increasing their susceptibility to infection.”
Johnson says fertilizer pollution may also be indirectly increasing the number of parasites. Other
scientists are praising Johnson’s work, but say it’s too soon to think that parasitic flatworms are
the only cause of the deformities.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.